Christmas decorations gone wrong

Don’t know why walking by my neighbor’s house


always reminds me of this song by the Toten Hosen/Roten Rosen:


A perfect day to homebrew some medicine

Since it was cold and rainy here in Baltimore, I decided to make some chicken stock and to brew some medicine to counteract the kidney stone attacks I’ve been having lately.  Back in the olden days, when I was working in Munich, I first experienced the joy of kidney stones. I ended up having an operation at the Klinikum Rechts der Isar, because one stone had gotten so large and had lodged itself in a place where they couldn’t use shockwaves to break it apart. After the operation, my doctor (who was Czech), told me to drink at least one Weizen per day to prevent another one from getting that large.

Flash forward 27 years. I stopped drinking my weizen in a misguided attempt at getting healthy. Lo and behold, I start feeling the twinges in my kidney that tell me I have made a BIG mistake. So today being cold and rainy, I decided to brew a Weizen. I found a recipe from a brewery I like:

My anti-kidney stone recipe
My anti-kidney stone recipe

Homebrewing works best if you clean and sanitize everything. Here you see my brew kettle making the wort, and my cleaning bucket and fermentation carbuoy.

Wort's a-brewing, airlock, siphon hose are sitting in a sanitizing solution, and my fermentation carbuoy is drying out
Wort’s a-brewing, airlock, siphon hose are sitting in a sanitizing solution, and my fermentation carbuoy is drying out

A peak at the wort (mashed grains):

Wort in the kettle, keeping a constant temperature of 150 degrees Farenheit
Wort in the kettle, keeping a constant temperature of 150 degrees Farenheit

After 30 minutes at 150 degrees Farenheit, Add water. Bring to a boil. Add the malt and the Bavarian hops. Boil for an hour.

Hopfen u. Malz, Gott erhalt's.
Hopfen u. Malz, Gott erhalt’s.

Cool to 70 degrees, add more water to bring it to 5 gallons. Pitch your yeast, take your specific gravity reading and siphon into the primary fermentation carbuoy.  Next week I’ll transfer it to the secondary fermentation carbuoy.

What’s for dinner?

Say you have some leftover quinoa cakes from 2 days ago. And a head of cauliflower in the refrigerator, just sitting there, all lonely. Ah, you say, this equals dinner!  Slice and roast the cauliflower with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Reheat the quinoa cakes, top with a tomatilla salsa and dinner is on the table in less than an hour.

Essen - quinoa cakes u. cauliflower
Essen – quinoa cakes u. cauliflower

A too short interlude – München

For me, a visit to Bayern isn’t complete without a trip to the city of my birth and where I had my first law job after law school. This time it would be a bit tricky, since the Deutsche Bahn was going on strike every other day, or so it seemed. Luckily, my cousin’s wife was heading into Munich* one of the days I wanted to visit, so she dropped me off at the Donnersbergerbrücke before heading off to the Kunsthalle. The S-/U-Bahn was running that day, so I took it to the Hauptbahnhof.

Fußgänger Zone
Fußgänger Zone

I then walked to the Hugendubel off of Marienplatz.

I love spending time and money here
I love spending time and money here

As usual, I got a little overwhelmed by the selection, so I emailed a [virtual] friend, Katy Derbyshire for some recommendations. To my happy surprise, she replied almost immediately, and I picked up Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz and Johnny und Jean, as well as a book I’d been looking for for awhile, Sendlinger G’schichten by Sigi Sommer. Purchases safely in my backpack, I made my way over to the Jewish Museum for two exhibits recommended by the Sueddeutsche:

The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum

1. War! Jews between the fronts, 1914-1918  and

2. Culture on the brink: Jewish life on the Tegernsee, 1900-1933

I was actually a little surprised I got to see the second one, since it wasn’t supposed to start until that evening. Both exhibits were pretty intense. Inside the museum, I saw someone who looked an aweful like Munich’s former mayor, Christian Ude.

An hour and a half later, it was time to meetup with Ken McBeth Knowles at the Ladencafé Marais.  I was a little apprehensive, since I had never met him in person before, only through twitter and google+. I needn’t have worried, as he and his friend Elaine were warm, interesting, and entertaining companions. I had a blast and learned a lot. After a leasurely cake and coffee,  I hurried over to the Lenbachhaus, my absolute favorite museum, in order to reacquaint myself with my favorite artist, August Macke. There is also a fun portrait of one of my favorite authors, Oskar Maria Graf by Georg Schrimpf that I wanted to see in person.

The Lenbachhause, which has a new entrance after an multiyear rennovation
The Lenbachhause, which has a new entrance after a multiyear rennovation
This used to be the entrance, back when I lived in Munich
This used to be the entrance, back when I lived in Munich

A couple of hours later, it was time for dinner. I headed off to the Weisses Brauhaus in Tal, although I did stop off first at the TSV 1860 fan shop to pick up a winter hat, especially since we are supposed to have a very cold winter here in Baltimore this year.

Where I go whenever I'm in Munich
Where I go whenever I’m in Munich

It was still relatively warm in Munich, so I sat outside. I couldn’t decide what kind of meat to eat, so I ordered a 3-fer: 2 cuts of pork and a cut of beef. It went well with the Aventinus and the Sendlinger Stories of Sigi Sommer.

Etwas vom Schwein, a Semmelknöd'l and an Aventinus
Etwas vom Schwein, a Semmelknöd’l and an Aventinus

After dinner, I caught the 20:35  train from Munich. According to my fitbit, I walked 13 miles that day.

* She was helping to set up the Munich Rococo from Asam to Günther exhibit.